For St. Patrick's Day: 10 Notable Irish Texans

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This weekend brings St. Patrick's Day, the annual celebration of all things Irish. Even in Texas there are parades.

As well there should be, because Irish Texans have definitely made their mark on the world.

Like these ten:

10. Matthew McConaughey His Mom was a McCabe. "McConaughey" is Gaelic for "He who plays bongos naked."

9. Audie Murphy

Born to a Murphy and a Killian, Audie Murphy is one of the

eight toughest Texan soldiers ever


8. John Connally

Believe me, I know how many spellings there are of Connelly/Connally/Kenneally etc., etc.

But we will assume that John Connally, the man who got a bullet in the wrist in Dallas, November 1963 and who spent millions to get one GOP delegate in 1972, is an Irishman, if only for the opportunity to play Back 47's great "James Connolly," about an Irishman who took a fatal bullet -- like JFK.

7. Nolan Ryan

We never really thought of Ryan as Irish, for some reason, probably his accent. But we have learned that he is a member of the

Irish-American Baseball Hall of Fame

. We learned, at approximately the same exact moment, that there is such a thing as the Irish-American Baseball Hall of Fame.

6. Glenn McCarthy

The inspiration for


's Jett Rink, McCarthy put up the glamorous Shamrock Hotel in Houston and generally acted exactly like you'd think a Texas oil wildcatter back then would act.

5. Jim McConn How Irish was Houston Mayor Jim McConn? While he and his cronies were colorfully leading this city, UH was about to play Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl. Reporters asked the ND grad who he was rooting for.

He just flashed his ND ring, hummed the Fight Song and said nothing.

4. Davey O'Brien

The man whose name is on the award given each year to college football's best quarterback was born in Dallas and starred at TCU. He won the Heisman Trophy, but played only two years in the NFL -- including being named All-Pro -- before retiring to become an FBI agent.

3. Farrah Fawcett Farrah Fawcett was a mix of Irish, French, English and Choctaw, but she went to grade school at St. Patrick's in Corpus Christi, so that's good enough for St. Patrick's Day.

2. Dick Dowling Born in Knockballyvisteal, County Galway, Dowling became a prominent bar owner in Houston and led a mostly Irish unit in the Civil War to victory at the Battle of Sabine Pass. Since he won the battle for the Confederacy, we guess it's ironic that Dowling Street runs through Houston's mostly black south side.

1. Billy Gibbons

Gibbons can be

Irish or English

, but with that long red beard, we're guessing ZZ Top's Billy has got more Irish than English in him.

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